By Ivan Mwine
Prince Karim Ali-Husayn Shah, who is the Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, has been summoned to court together with three top executives of Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), over allegations that they siphoned billions of money from city mogul Hamis Kiggundu, populalry known as Ham.
The Aga Khan has been summoned to appear at Buganda Road Court on September 28th, 2021 together with Nassim Muhamed Devji, the DTB Group Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director Kenya, Varghesi Thambi, the Chief Executive Officer DTB Uganda and John Sitakange, the Head of Credit DTB.
Courts summons seen by this website dated September 13th indicate that Aga Khan and his co-accused are directed to appear before Buganda Road Magistrate’s court to take plea on charges that include theft contrary to section 254 of the Penal Code Act Cap 120, making false entries in financial ledgers contrary to section 47 (1) and (3) of the financial Institutions Act of 2004.
The Diamond Trust Bank officials and the Aga Khan also face charges of abetting electronic fraud contrary to section 19 of the computer misuse Act, uttering false documents contrary to section 351 of the Penal Code Act 120 and conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to section 360 of Penal Code Act 120.
Court documents filed by tycoon Ham’s lawyers of Muwema & Co.Advocates indicate that the accused perpetrated, oversaw and facilitated illegal and unlawful transactions of Shs34,295,951,553 and USD23,467,670 from from the businessman’s accounts over time, purporting to have been recovering a loan he had acquired from DTB.
The affidavit sworn in support of the matter by Ham reads in part thus; “The above persons who are the directing mind of the bank had knowledge of illegal transactions and they bear criminal liability for the approval and concurrence in committing the deception and fraud on the complainant’s accounts.”
He also avers that the four accused persons do not meet the criteria to run a financial institution under the dictates of the Financial Institutions Act 2004, hence are not fit and proper persons to own, control and manage a bank or any other financial institutions in accordance with the 3rd schedule of the Financial Institutions Act, 2004
Genesis Of the Matter
The trouble for Aga Khan and the thrifty DTB officials started in February 2011 and August 2018, when Kiggundu secured USD4,014,444 and USD6,974,600 loan facilities from DTB Kenya for construction of commercial properties.
He mortgaged the bank property located on Kyadondo Block 248, Plot 328 land at Kawuku, FRV 1533, Folio 3, Plot 36-38, Victoria Crescent II Kyadondo and LRV 3176 Folio 10, Plot 923, and Block 9 located at Makerere Hill Road as collateral security.
After accepting the mortgage, DTB Kenya directed their branch in Uganda, DTB Uganda, to collect the loan facility from Ham when it was due.
However DTB-Uganda insisted that it did not act as an agent of DTB-Kenya to conduct business in Uganda, but only sought its services as a collection agent for it to receive its payments from Ham Enterprises Limited.
But it later turned out after Ham had conducted a forensic audit of his accounts that actually top executives at both DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya had colluded to siphons billions from his accounts to the extent that they had withdrawn money in excess of the loan balance and interest, which prompted him to drag them and the bank to court.
So in March last year Ham sued both DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya illegally debiting over Shs120 billion from his accounts without his consent and giving him an explanation why.
In his suit, Ham also prayed to court issue a declaration that both the banks’ demand for USD4,014,444 and USD6,974,600, which was advanced to him by DTB-Kenya, is illegal and unenforceable on the grounds that the Kenyan bank had no license to carry out financial business in Uganda, which contravened the Financial Institutions Act 2004.
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